Michael Jackson didn't identify as one gender, says personal photographer Harrison Funk
Michael Jackson's personal photographer Harrison Funk has claimed the singer was "gender fluid". Funk, who worked with the pop legend from the 1970s until his death in June 2009, said that Jackson's make-up routine was a sign that he did not solely identify with one gender.
"Him and Jermaine (Jackson) loved putting on their own makeup.... It wasn't so much femininity on Michael's part as androgyny he was fluid around gender. Michael had no interest in assigning a gender to anybody. He didn't overtly identify as one particular gender," Funk told the Guardian. However, when Jackson had kids --Prince, Paris and Blanket-- his image changed to that "of father". "He became a strong man in that sense," Funk added.
The photographer also revealed the "Beat It" hitmaker became prone to dramatic outbursts during his Victory Tour of the US and Canada in 1984. 'Michael had very demanding moments. If he didn't like something, he let you know. Michael was never ridiculing to me ever, but if someone messed up the design of his stage, then he would yell at them. He expected perfection." During the 1990s, Jackson's music became more socially conscious, with hits such as "Earth Song" and "Black or White". However, he also attracted controversy when he struck a Jesus-like pose in one of Funk's most famous photographs.
"People say Michael had a Jesus complex, but that p***es me off, as it just wasn't true. There was a practical reason for me taking that photo. 'Michael had huge hands and I wanted to make the most of them as they were expressive - and a good way for him to embrace the world. At that stage, his whole existence was geared towards healing the world, so having big, expressive hands was a very important way to speak to the people," Funk said.